Let’s Talk Tech — Clementine

Music management, streaming management, podcasts. It does everything but make music… for now.

One of the things that makes me the geek I am is that I use everything. Granted, I have preferences but I always try to stay up on how everything works, at least on a more than superficial basis. The only thing I’ve not dabbled in here at home is Windows 8 (or 8.1 since that’s what’s out now), and that’s simply because I’m not going to buy it. If I get a computer that has it on it, or my job provides me with a copy, then certainly I’ll use it and will become proficient with it. Touring around my gear here at home you’ll find iOS, Linux, Windows 7, Mac OS X, and Android. For those who don’t know, this is called a “cross platform philosophy.” Being platform independent has a lot of advantages to the serious geek and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

When you’re working cross platform, it’s a great thing when you can find an app that works anywhere and on all of those platforms. I listen to music and podcasts almost all the time. If I’m not interacting with people, then chances are I’m listening to something. One app that works everywhere and works superbly is a music player/manager called Clementine.

You can get Clementine for Windows, Linux, and OS X. Other than the cosmetic differences imposed by the various operating systems, it looks and acts the same everywhere. That kind of consistency makes for a brilliant app. Clementine makes a superior music management programme. You can import your MP3 collection, sort it, tag it, and all of that stuff. Those are the kind of features that you should expect from a music manager. However, that’s not what makes Clementine my go-to for musical entertainment. No, the features that make it a stand-out app for me has to do with something I love dearly.

Online radio.

I listen to a lot of online radio. From podcasting network livestreams to music to everything else. I’m often tuned into Digitally Imported, Soma FM, or various websites with streaming audio. For me, it’s amazing how well Clementine manages my online listening too. When you download and install it, it already comes preconfigured to handle a boatload of online streaming sources like Digitally Imported, Icecast, Last.fm, Sky.fm, Soma FM, and SoundCloud. Just click them, drop them down, select a station (or perform a search), and you’ve got tunes in seconds.

Remote control via an Android app.

More than that, if you’re the kind who likes to store some music in the cloud, then Clementine has your number. You can stream music and audio from Google Drive, Box.com, SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Ubuntu One. Just sign into the service(s) you use and you’re hooked up, simple and useful.

Finally, if you listen to audio off a website that’s not part of the initial setup, that’s not a problem. All you need is the URL of the stream. You can add that to a section called “Your radio streams,” give it a name, and it saves it for later. You can build your own radio presets and start listening with a double click.

If you’re anything like me, you’re not too worried about managing local music on your hard drive because you probably already have something set up to do that. For me, the music management features of Clementine are almost an incidental thing. When it comes to managing streaming audio, that is where it really shines. If you’re looking for a good streaming audio app that’s easy to use, this is it, and I don’t care what operating system you’re using.

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